Coaching - Why you need to know your Zero Point

17 May 2021

Written by Administrator on Friday June 5, 2020

Quite simply - it allows you to get on the with task of shooting a competition so much quicker!

The image is of a competitor's card which was submitted for scoring during one of our open shoots. You can clearly see the timing, and the thinking, behind each shot as follows:

  • Too High!
  • Bit Lower!
  • No - Lower Still!
  • Bit more!
  • Too Far - Up a Bit!
  • OK - You're running out of time!

While six shots on a sighter diagram at 50m is by no means excessive, they are usually used to get an understanding of the conditions. Here the competitor is six shots in and has only just started that part of the shoot.

So, take the opportunity to zero your rifle at 50m and 100yd. Then it is simply a case of putting on (or off) the relevant number of clicks and you avoid the time and energy spent getting the shots in the middle and can concentrate on the range conditions and your technique.

Sight Adjustment

Directly related to this is the question: "how far does the fall of shot move for each click of my sights?"

While there are some sweeping generalisations that can be made, the answer is that it depends entirely on your individual setup.

If you've run out of diagrams getting your zero point sorted, put up another card. If not just move onto the next diagram. Then do the following:

  1. Put up enough shots so that you know where your group is centred (Should be in the middle if you've just completed the above exercise!)
  2. Put 20 clicks on you sights to move the fall of shot upwards.
  3. Repeat step 1 but this time the group centre will be offset from the previous group.
  4. At the end of the detail, retrieve your card and measure the distance between the two group centres.
  5. Divide that measurement by 20 and you have your answer.

What I find useful is to then work out how many clicks I need to get across a ring on the target. This is useful as the targets are proportional to the distance so the answer is the same on a 100yd target as it is on a 50m target.

For me, the answer is about 3 clicks per ring. 6 to get all the way across the bull. Looking at the target again, the first shot (near the number 113) is so far out we've run out of rings. In this case you just have to estimate as follows:

  • 9 rings = 27 clicks
  • Half the bull = 3 clicks.
  • subtotal = 30 clicks
  • the first shot appears to be roughly the same distance from the first ring as the edge of the black is from the centre. That's about 7 rings = 21 clicks.
  • Total = 51 clicks
  • Put 51 clicks on the elevation. Make sure you wind the sights the right way!
  • WIndage follows the same logic. Again you have to estimate but it looks about 2 rings left of centre. So put 6 clicks on the windage.
  • put up enough shots to confirm where your group centre is. As this was such a big move you will probably have to make a final adjustment.

The above assumes you have no cant on the rifle. If you do, you'll have to adjust the above to allow for the cant. I have quite a bit of cant and for every 10 clicks of elevation I include 2 clicks of windage. The direction the windage is applied is dependant on the direction of the elevation change.